Flash Filmmaker's Toon Boom Thread

Hi, Boomers-

I mentioned this very informative and useful website in another section of the TBS Forum, but I thought I’d post it here, as well.

The site is called Flash Filmmaker and, while it is heavy on useful Macromedia Flash tips, it also has excellent info about the art of animation and storytelling, etc.

I have found the site helpful as I’ve learned to animate over the past year or two and they’ve just reintroduced a thread specifically for Toon Boom Studio. Check it out and, if you have any questions or would like to offer your opinions about Toon Boom or share your experience as an animator, please log on to:

http://www.flashfilmmaker.com/forums/

and scroll down to Software-Hardware-Technical Talk>Misc. Software. There you’ll find the Toon Boom Thread.

Best Wishes,
-Elwood

Elwood,
Thanks for the plug, hopefully some of the community members will check out the FFM forums. There is certainly more there than the “title” might imply. We have tried to establish a community of both professionals and amatuers who exchange help and ideas about digital animation, mostly 2D and certainly with a bias toward Flash but as you pointed out we have sections on all similar applications of a below $1000 per seat price point. Plus good discussions on applications like Photoshop and After Effects for pre and post production. And also thanks for the kind words about the more application independent discussions on techniques, production and writing for animated cartoons. As those are my favorite areas along with my blog articles.

Now that our studio is re-evaluating TBS I plan to become more involved here as well. I am getting deeper and deeper into 3.0.1 and with my extensive background in using Flash I’m able to bring a new perspective to some of this forums discussions. And I plan to expand the number of TBS related threads at FFM as well. -JK

JK-

It’s really great to have you back on the TBS Forum. I’ve always tended to respond to the more purely artistic issues in these forums, since my technical skills are shakey and basic. You, like other helpful TBS users (the two Robs as an example), have advanced knowledge AND, as a bonus, you have an abundance of good will, patience and clarity.

As you can see, I created this post way back in early September of 2005, so maybe we can get some renewed interest in Flash Filmmaker–it’s one of my favorite “Art in Motion” sites. I look forward to your input on Toon Boom’s strengths and weaknesses and your take on the differences and similarities between TBS & Flash.

Best Wishes,
-Elwood

Thanks Elwood,
I am very new to this most recently improved version of TBS 3.0.1 and so far I am very pleased. I’m hoping to be able to shift a lot of our production work to TBS because I believe it has come of age with this latest version. I also like having Solo as a migration path although I’m far from convinced it is worth the price differential at this time.

I’m seeing a real need for a strong support community because, like Flash, there are plenty of things to learn on top of the already daunting work of cartooning, film making, or animation work. I will do my best to quickly come up to speed for our studio needs this tool to be effective for us. And as always I will try to share my talent for explaining complex subjects. It is one of those things where as I learn, I feel obligated to offer help to others. It never interferes with my work schedule or projects and I get to meet and become aquainted with many interesting and famous people along the way. Internet forums have so much potentual for benefit and only occasionally are they minor sources of less fortunate conversations which we all learn to just ignore. -JK

Elwood,
You have a new home at FlashFilmMaker! Seriously, we have gone from a single forum thread to a dedicated forum section devoted to Toon Boom. You can never have too much information about a good thing, so there now is an additional place on the Internet for all Toon Boomers. -JK

JK-

That’s great news! I’m delighted to hear it. I do hope all you Toon Boomers will at least pop over to the Flash Filmmaker site to check it out. Lots of very helpful info about the art of animation which is useful from a technical point of view AND there is lots of helpful tips on the HOW of animation from the creative point of view.

And, to top off a good thing, there’ll be JK’s in-depth report on the differences and similarities (and the strengths and weaknesses) between Toon Boom and Flash.

Here (again) is the Flash Filmmaker address: http://www.flashfilmmaker.com/forums/

-Elwood

Elwood,
I was asked by an FFM member about the Text tool. So I went through the new user’s guide and read up on this tool. Now you would love my copy of the TBS V3 Users Guide because I am annotating it as I do my evaluation. Adding notes and comments electronically as I find things not as well explained as I think they should be or functionality that exists but isn’t discussed. Not a reflection on the TBS documentation folks as they have produced a great user’s guide and I’m learning a lot from actually reading it. But my responsibility to people in our studio will be to help them come up to speed on TBS if we start using it for production work. So I’m adding notes as I go. You have to love Adobe Acrobat.

Any way, the user’s guide shows that a text object can be selected and by applying the break apart command the text object is broken into individual text objects for each individual character. All clearly explained in the user’s guide. But what they omitted was that if you apply the break apart command to those text objects a second time then they are converted to filled shapes just like you would expect to happen in Flash when you break apart a text object. This is a very useful feature in effects animation of text because it then permits shape deformation using the subselect tool. And something most Flash animators use frequently for this and other purposes. As you would expect I documented this feature in a post in the Toon Boom Studio forum section at FlashFilmMaker. -JK

what’s going on with the flashfilmmaker site? ::slight_smile:
cheers,
rob

Hi, Rob–

For some reason, poor Ibis, who operates that site, has had many problems with hackers causing all kinds of problems. It’s really too bad, because the site is so useful. I have no idea why anyone but a sick individual would want to ruin such a helpful site, but someone out there has done it several times in the past year.

In the other episodes, it seemed some creeps just shut it down, but this time, it seems they’ve rerouted the address to that cinestar film workds suspended page. I suppose some jerks out there thinks it’s hilarious. I wish they could use their skills to help others, but they’d rather cause pain and suffering.

Ibis seems to have the strength and determination to get it up and running every time. I hope he’ll do it again.

-Elwood

Hi guys, the site is back up and running. I don’t think this was a hack but more of a technical problem of the server variety. One trick to tell the nature of the problem is to check the FFM Archive site. When both sites are “down” that usually means there is some hosting related problem usually a router or server or some technical problem. -JK

Great news, JK! Sorry I jumped the gun with my assumptions–I only did because the site was mucked up a time or two by a hacker. I’m relieved to know that it was a mere technical problem this time.

Good to have Flash Filmmaker back with us.

-ES

Elwood,
I’m continuing to be very impressed with this latest version. The documentation is very good although I am not a great judge of how helpful it is for “newbies” because of my extensive prior Flash experience. Which is why I think forums to help simplify the mysteries are so important. I have gone back to my TBS V1 manual to check some things and I suspect that the reason that I am finding things so much easier to understand is a function of experience I gained since I first read that manual. I think if more experienced Flash users will take a look at V3 they will also be impressed which is why FFM is trying to encourage people to give TBS a second or third look and not letting prior issues block an open minded appreciation of the versatility of this latest version. -JK

Elwood,
I did my best to get the TBS section started at FFM, but there was heavy resistance to taking an open minded look at this evolving technology. Granted it was small but concentrated resistance, mostly based on a fear of losing a position as an authority figure. It is easier to be a Flash animation authority these days for some people because there is in their own words “no new animation features that have been added since Flash 4”. The debate about the price of SOLO was a ruse. SOLO addresses a market need, and although it is relatively more expensive than Flash, it is aimed at a totally different market of independent professionals that falls inbetween the high end studios and the low end “mostly for fun” users.

I won’t yet say much more on the subject except that you are invited to visit our blog and I’d love to have your regular input. I will follow through on my writing about SOLO in some future blog articles so watch for them if you have an interest. Right now we are focusing on really learning TBS V3 as we are making a commitment to use it in our studio work. -JK

very clear cut :wink: ibis, as i got him to know ;D
on the other hand, his ‘less than 500$ on an animation software’-approach is probably the right means to make an animation creation so popular and the website so distinctive.
rob

Rob,
What has the price of the software got to do with anything? That is totally irrelevent. The goal is to produce content, for fun or for profit. The tools you use and how much you invest in them is a personal choice. I think most people are intellegent enough to figure out what they can and can’t afford financially. That’s as bogus a view of the world as it would be to debate hand drawn VS tweened animation. It’s personal preference. If you can only afford a cheap brush you can still paint or if you can afford a high quality brush you can also paint. Tool costs are not any ones business except the artist / content producer’s. If you actually knew what I get paid for my work or what Elwood gets paid for his work you would better appreciate the laughable part of these price of the tools used debates. A professional can expense their tools and equipment. An amatuer doesn’t buy things they can’t afford and they don’t need anyone in a forum telling them they are on a tight budget. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to have a better understanding of things, because every one can have dreams and goals. -JK

jk,
ok, i am a strong dreamer :), and i can recall two things that were always driving me on my artistic ways:
a verse of yeats’ poem: ‘i made it out of a mouthful of air’ and a statement of kurt cobain about guitars he needed being priced a mere $50.

yeah, you’re right saying an artist can paint with an expensive brush and with a cheap one, too.
but why should he buy an expensive one when the cheap one also does?
we’re nothing on this world. we came here naked and penniless and we’re gonna leave this world in the same way. people who are always running after more and more expensive and luxurios gadgets make me simply laugh.
my most precious feeling is when i sit before a blank paper sheet and a pencil. i am then only on my own, with no shield, no backing hardware nor software. then one can show what he’s able to.

doing things for a living in such a spartanic way is for me the highest sign of the professionality. that’s why i can understand ibis’ approach, although it may come based on other thoughts.

i’m still not being paid much, but even if i could get better, i would definitely not buy a solo when the studio also works for me, in spite of the current sound problems.
cheers,
rob

update:
but don’t get me wrong → i don’t mind you posting on differences between solo and studio. i’m only saying i understand ibis’ objections :slight_smile:

Rob,
You are missing the point. No one is endorsing any tools. In fact what we try to do is encourage people to think creatively and not get caught up in technology or any other tools. The joke of the whole discussion that has been going on at FFM is that if you bother to check the statistics of what viewers read they go for the content creation threads in a huge percentage VS the technology focused threads. The value of any forum is the interchange of ideas and opinions and you of all people should appreciate that. Sharing information is not endorsing anything and that sites value wasn’t and isn’t in the techno threads. I didn’t intend for this thread to expand this way, I was originally trying to encourage people interested in TBS to join in the discussion at FFM. And my last post here to Elwood was to say, I’m sorry but those discussion are moving elsewhere because times change. -JK

jk,
we’re still on topic :slight_smile:
what i meant with the ‘luxurios’ tools was the additional functionality which is not necessary for creating great content.
and i’m sure it was the ibis’ attitude, too.
but i’ll let him in peace from now on, because he’s absent.

as for the changing times i suppose that ffm would slightly evolve into more open community with more themes and more content. then you would find even more space for the tools discussions.
correct me if i miss this trend.

and i agree with you absolutely: a content is the base of every entertainment. what tools are being used to produce it, it doesn’t matter much.
cheers,
rob

Rob,
I can’t predict what direction those forums will follow. I’m sure the techno threads will remain for Flash and a little about After Effects. And all the existing content creation threads will probably remain but I’d be very surprised if they evolve further. Maybe someone will start some 3D CGI threads but don’t expect much.

For those people interested in the creative content creation material, I will be posting regularly to my blog and that’s where you will find all the future articles on writing, animation techniques, characterization, cartoon making etc.
And beings we are going to be more active using TBS, I will be around here as will others from our collaboration team. -JK

jk,
i’m always up-to-date with the toon talk forum at ffm, and i enjoy your thoughts on animation in your blog, too. keep up with this good work :slight_smile:

as for 3d: i see the trends to extend 2d forums by this topic, too (the last time it was in a polish 2d animation forum at www.animuj.pl), but imho it isn’t that compatible area.
i argued there that the example of extending flash by tbs topics at ffm at least makes sense, because both tools are directly compatible: one can import the whole projects from tbs into flash, and some of the export standards can be also the same.
one can’t really import anything viable from 3d into 2d as we use it, can s/he?

as for tbs: if you intensively check the studio, can you look into the streamed sound quality issue, which i posted in the ‘sounds’ section here?
i’d be thankful if you come to any conclusions on this theme and share them with us. i’m stuck on this actually.
cheers,
rob